Those of us who followed the Stanley Cup Finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins witnessed a great match-up, an intense match-up and arguably one of the greatest Stanley cup Finals in the history of the game.
After the series which was one by the Blackhawks both teams lined up for the ceremonial handshake. This is unique to hockey and shows the sportsmanship by competitors, even arch rivals. The handshake ceremony is customary and not unique to just this particular series.
The Chicago Blackhawks took sportsmanship to a whole new level by posting an ad in the Boston Herald (see ESPN.com). Basically the Blackhawks thanked the city for being so welcoming to the team and its fans. They praised the class of the citizens of Boston.
In all my years watching sports I've never seen anything quite like this. I have to praise the Blackhawks. They showed how classy they are. They showed the sports world how to behave and conduct themselves.
Sure many people will say that it was easy to place the ad since Chicago was the Stanley Cup champion. That’s garbage. We had fierce competitors who disliked each other during the series. When has anyone seen this type of goodwill and sportsmanship by any team? This type of behavior is far and few between.
I’m a Blackhawks fan and this move by the team makes me even happier that they won the cup. They displayed real class. Kudos to the team.
This is especially gratifying since we seem to live in a sports world of win at all costs, disrespecting your opponents and even playing dirty. What the team did in this case is show NHL fans who they truly are.
So who are they? They are a team that respects the game, the NHL and all its fans. They are a class act. They have now set a high standard of fair play and sportsmanship. I hope other sports teams take note of this and start to model themselves after this organization.
I do know and accept that during competition things might get a little ugly but its how teams conduct themselves after the competition that sets them apart from the rest. If teams take a page out of Chicago’s playbook they will be respected and considered good sports. If they don’t, they will be like any other organization. They will be average and not great.